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Omnivore - Mouthful: Taquerias

Taco time...

TAQUERIA EL REY DEL TACO: Skilled matrons of the kitchen knock out fresh tortillas while gossiping and laughing. And those fresh tortillas and the exceptional salsas—both smoky roja and creamy verde—are the reason to visit. Tacos filled with chivo (goat) or cabeza (beef cheeks) are exceptional. And no table is complete without a massive goblet of vibrant red seafood cocktail studded with chopped onions and cilantro. 5288 Buford Highway. 770-986-0095.

LA OAXAQUENA TAQUERIA: The main draw for most at this perennial favorite is the large tlayuda—think Mexican-style “pizza” made on an enormous tortilla from the Oaxaca region of Mexico. Tacos—like the tender cabeza arrive atop large, fresh tortilla finished with a charred baby onion and lime wedge for a perfect contrast against the fatty beef. The salsa bar (Atlanta’s best) is pristine and offers a wide variety of freshly made toppings. The restaurant is expanding to a new location across the street any day now—call ahead. 6738 Tara Boulevard, Jonesboro. 770-960-3010.

GORDITA'S LA RANCHERITA: Every corn-based item is made by hand with fresh masa. Impossibly fluffy (and large) tortillas come with taco fillings such as fatty crumbled chorizo or the shredded pieces of goat barbacoa in an earthy red sauce. The gorditas are the best I’ve encountered outside of Mexico. Each is crisp on the outside for structure but has that essential layer of soft masa that tells you it’s fresh. Tip: the bakery next door sells a killer flan that is sliced to order. 2055 Beaver Ruin Road, Norcross. 678-206-0107.

(Photo by Jennifer Zyman)